This article first appeared in IP Value 2006 - An International Guide for the Boardroom, published by Globe White Page.
Sir Winston Churchill said: “All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.” This chapter discusses several well-known conflicts arising from research, collaboration and licence agreements in the field of biotechnology. Not every contract dispute stems from a mistake – even the best drafting will not stop a determined party bent on evading its duties or expanding its rights under a contract from contending that its desired course of conduct is permitted – but certain contractual provisions result in disputes too often to ignore. Remembering what has gone wrong for others can help avoid conflict in the first place and increase the chance of winning a case.
This chapter focuses on the definition of ‘product’, specifying the royalty base and handling improvements to licensed or collaboration technology.